Here is a debate held at Wesleyan University in 2005 between Christopher Hitchens and me. Hitchens went to his grave as a supporter of the Bush/Cheney venture. He supported Bush in 2004. His turn to the right (from weak leftish/center) won him the attention of all the mass media, especially Fox and the like, and lecture invitations at fat fees. Others of us were less enthralled about his anti-Islam warrior politics.
“The greatest crime since World War II has been U.S. foreign policy.” — Former US Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, b 1927
On February 10th 2003, German Green MP Joschka Fischer, then Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor, stunned an international security conference, in Munich’s opulent 19th century Bayerischer Hof hotel discussing the proposed invasion of Iraq, by banging on the table, switching to English to guarantee Donald Rumsfeld understood and shouted of the US arguments for war: “ … I am not convinced.” Continue reading
Ten years ago George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, as war criminals, launched the sociocide of the people of Iraq – replete with embedded television and newspaper reporters chronicling the invasion through the Bush lens. That illegal war of aggression was, of course, based on recognized lies, propaganda and cover-ups that duped or co-opted leading news institutions such as the New York Times and the Washington Post.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians: 6:12.)
What a decade it has been for assassinations, liquidations, exterminations – for State terrorism led by the Land of the Free. Summary executions include Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. On 5th February 2003, General Colin Powell stating that he headed a deadly terrorist network within Iraq – just six weeks before the US headed a deadly terrorist network, in an illegal invasion, which entirely destroyed Iraq.
“Since 1990 upper estimates are of three million Iraqi deaths between sanctions, bombings and invasion, under four US Administrations. One thousand 9/11s.” — Malcom Lagauche.*
I once worked for a man whose inconsistencies and delusions stretched the mind to a realm beyond confusion. Having laid down specific edicts as to aims and how they should be achieved, the following day he would yell at staff for following them – and deny all knowledge of his instructions.
One day an exasperated colleague hung a placard on the wall above his desk before he arrived. It read: “You are never alone with schizophrenia.”
The mainstream media is reporting that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein told his FBI interrogators after his capture that he lied about having weapons of mass destruction (WMD) because he feared Iran. But there’s just one problem with this claim: Saddam Hussein never claimed to have WMD, but , as everybody knows, repeatedly denied that this was so.
This propaganda line had its origins early on following the U.S. invasion of Iraq. David Kay, who early on headed up the CIA’s effort to find WMD, the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), suggested at the time that Saddam had “bluffed” about having WMD in order to deter Iran.
The deception served to absolve the Bush administration of responsibility for having lied about the “threat” by making it seem as though it was reasonable to arrive at that conclusion since Saddam had claimed to possess WMD, even though he did not.
In actual fact, however, far from admitting possession, Iraq repeatedly denied having WMD in the months and years leading up to the invasion.
While I am working with the already famous Greenspan book, I read an article published by El País, a Spanish newspaper with a circulation of more than 500,000, according to reports; I would like to pass this on to the readers. It is signed by Ernesto Ekaizer, and it literally reads:
“Four weeks before the Iraq invasion which happened in the night of March 19 to 20, 2003, publicly sustained his demands of in the following terms: disarmament or war. In private, Bush acknowledged that war was inevitable. In a long private conversation with the then Spanish president, José María Aznar, held on Saturday, February 22, 2003 at the Crawford Ranch in , Bush made it clear that the moment had come to get rid of Saddam. ‘We have two weeks. In two weeks our military will be ready. We will be in at the end of March’, he told Aznar.
“The moment has come to get rid of Saddam.
“As part of this plan, Bush had accepted, on January 31, 2003 –after an interview with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair– to make a last diplomatic manoeuvre: to introduce a second resolution to the United Nations Security Council. His objective: to clear the way legally for a unilateral war that the United States was getting ready to unleash with more than 200,000 soldiers who were in the region ready to attack.
“Bush was aware of Blair’s internal difficulties and he knew of Aznar’s. Only seven days before that meeting at the Crawford Ranch, three million people were demonstrating in several Spanish cities against the imminent war. ‘We need your help with our public opinion’, Aznar asks. Bush explains to him the scope of the new resolution that he is going to present: ‘The resolution will be tailor made to help you. I don’t care about the content’. To this, Aznar replies: ‘That text would help us to be able to co-sponsor it and be its co-authors, and get many people to sponsor it’. Aznar, then, offers to give Bush European coverage, together with Blair. Aznar’s dream of consolidating a relationship with the United States, following in the footsteps of the , was about to become reality.
“Aznar had travelled with his wife, Ana Botella, on February 20 to the United States making a stopover in to persuade President Vicente Fox –unsuccessfully– of the need to support Bush. On the 21st, the couple, accompanied by the President’s assistants, arrived in . Aznar and his wife stayed at the ranch guest house.
“In the meeting on the following day, Saturday, , his then National Security Advisor , and Daniel Fried, the chief of European Affairs at the National Security Council, were present. Aznar, on his side, was accompanied by his international policy advisor, Alberto Carnero and the Spanish Ambassador in , Javier Rupérez. As part of the meeting, Bush and Aznar had a four-way telephone conversation with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Italian President .
“Ambassador Rupérez translated from the English for Aznar and also from the Italian for ; another two interpreters did the same for Bush and his collaborators. It was Rupérez who drafted the minutes of the conversation in a memorandum that has been kept secret until today.
“The conversation is impressive because of its direct, friendly and even menacing tone when, for example, they refer to the necessity of some countries like Mexico, Chile, , and , members of the UN Security Council, voting for the new resolution as a show of friendship towards the United States or else they would have to suffer the consequences.
“They are cautioned about zero expectations for the work of the inspectors, whose chief, Hans Blix, had dismantled just one week earlier, on February 14, the arguments presented by United States Secretary of State at the Security Council on February 5, 2003, with ‘solid facts’ enthusiastically supported by the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ana Palacio. The same facts that Powell himself later described as a bunch of lies.
“The Blix Report
“According to Blix, was taking steps towards active cooperation in solving the pending issue of disarmament. His tone had been less critical than that of his report of January 27, 2003. ‘Since we arrived in three months ago we have made more than 400 inspections, with no advance warning at 300 sites. Until now, the inspectors have found no prohibited weapons…If decides to cooperate even more closely, the period of disarmament by the inspections can still be short´, the chief inspector pointed out.
“The General Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), released information on February 14 that there were still some technical issues left to clear up. But, he added, ‘now there are no more disarmament problems left to solve’. According to him, absolutely no proof had been found that had been carrying out nuclear activities or activities related to nuclear energy, another clear lie about what Powell had stated about the Iraqi nuclear program.
“Both the first results of the inspections and the end of the United States preparations led Bush to set the beginning of the military operation towards the date of March 10, 2003. Later, nine days were added in order to get the second resolution. The process of moral persuasion in which Aznar and Palacios worked by phone and in bilateral meetings did not succeed in pulling in more than four votes: those of the three promoters and . They needed 9 votes.
“The failure of this legal coverage for the imminent war led Bush, with Blair and Aznar, to agree to a summit meeting in the Azores on March 16, 2003, a place suggested by Aznar as an alternative to for a reason he explained to Bush: ‘Just the name of these islands suggests an item of clothing that is not exactly the most appropriate for the seriousness of the moment in which we find ourselves’. There, on that March 16, Blair, Bush and Aznar decided to replace the United Nations Security Council. They usurped its functions to declare war on Iraq at their own risk. On the morning of March 17, the ambassador at the UN announced in the withdrawal of the second resolution. A defeat in the voting would have complicated even further the race towards war.”
September 27, 2007. 7:25 p.m.
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By DAVID GARDNER
The Daily Mail
26th September 2007
Saddam Hussein offered to step down and go into exile one month before the invasion of Iraq, it was claimed last night.
Fearing defeat, Saddam was prepared to go peacefully in return for £500million ($1billion).
The extraordinary offer was revealed yesterday in a transcript of talks in February 2003 between George Bush and the then Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar at the President’s Texas ranch.
The White House refused to comment on the report last night.
But, if verified, it is certain to raise questions in Washington and London over whether the costly four-year war could have been averted.
Only yesterday, the Bush administration asked Congress for another £100billion to finance the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The total war bill for British taxpayers is expected to reach £7billion by next year.
More than 3,800 American service personnel have lost their lives in Iraq, along with 170 Britons and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians.
However, according to the tapes, one month before he launched the invasion Mr Bush appeared convinced that Saddam was serious about going into exile.
“The Eqyptians are speaking to Saddam Hussein,” said Mr Bush.
“It seems he’s indicated he would be prepared to go into exile if he’s allowed to take $1billion and all the information he wants about weapons of mass destruction.”
Asked by the Spanish premier whether Saddam – who was executed in December last year – could really leave, the President replied: “Yes, that possibility exists. Or he might even be assassinated.”
But he added that whatever happened: “We’ll be in Baghdad by the end of March.”
Mr Bush went on to refer optimistically to the rebuilding or Iraq.
The transcript – which was published yesterday in the Spanish newspaper El Pais – was said to have been recorded by a diplomat at the meeting in Crawford, Texas, on February 22, 2003.
Mr Bush was dismissive of the then French President Jacques Chirac, saying he “thinks he’s Mr Arab”.
Referring to his relationship with Downing Street, he said: “I don’t mind being the bad cop if Blair is the good cop.”
The President added: “Saddam won’t change and he’ll keep on playing games.
“The time has come to get rid of him. That’s the way it is.”
Days before the invasion began on March 22, 2003, the United Arab Emirates proposed to a summit of Arab leaders that Saddam and his henchmen should go into exile.
It was the first time the plan had been officially voiced but it was drowned out in the drumbeat of war.
A spokesman for Mr Aznar’s foundation had no comment on its authenticity.
Bomb attacks killed 57 people in Iraq yesterday.
h/t: I Am Like You Too [Gravel ’08], FairiesWearboots
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